Sunday, June 28, 2009

Revisiting Nap Time, Big Boy Bed and Raw Cauliflower

Remember my post that surprisingly I was enjoying Daniel growing out of his naps? Well, I think I might like to rephrase that particular paragraph of that post.

It seems like tiredness may bring out a certain little monster in a certain little boy that I love. In the last month or so we have had so many busy weekends including wedding weekend, birthday party, lake day Discoveroo, First Fishing Trip to name a few. Then Friday, a week ago, I took Daniel to the local mall to play a bit because I had some other errands to run. We walked into the mall and I let go of Daniel’s hand. Daniel has always stayed close and never really strayed from my side and I keep a constant eye on him, plus our mall is dead. I’m surprised they call it a mall anymore because I think there are only about 12 stores left in it. At any rate, Daniel shot off like a bat out of you know where and when I yelled stop, he laughed and kept right on going. It took me more than half the mall to catch up to him and when I did, I was stark raving mad. It was all I could do to sit him on his bottom next to a closed store and say “time out!”. Once time out was over I told him we were leaving since he did not listen. He decided to get really nasty and so I carried my child like a sack of potatos under my arm through more than half the mall kicking and screaming. It took me probably 10 minutes to get him in his car seat from all his bucking and wildness and then he continued to scream all the way home. Once home, I put him directly into his bed and he continued screamed about 10 more minutes before he finally fell blissfully silent. He slept for 3 and a half hours and woke up the child I know and love.

Since then he’s thrown 2 more tantrums, but thankfully they haven’t lasted nearly as long and the last one lasted about 30 seconds because I sent him directly to his room and I suppose he’s realized that I’m not putting up with it and he’s getting nowhere fast.

However, in the interim we have figured out that he only has these tantrums on days he doesn’t nap. This had not been a problem in the past and I can’t help but wonder if he’s going through a growing spurt. He’s suddenly eating me out of house and home – as in a grilled cheese sandwhich AND a another half AND a bowl of soup just last night. Well, maybe not out of house and home, but for him it is! Plus his naps have been lasting almost 3 hours and he wakes up so sweet.

So for now, nap time it is!!

And in honor of nap time, our big 3 year old now sleeps in his very own big boy bed!! We converted his crib last night and he LOVES it!! He went right down and stayed in his bed. He helped Troy with the “man work” while Mommy did the “girlie work” and took photos!! And by the way – a photo taking hint: ask your child to show their teeth instead of smile for the camera – it actually worked!! Now if only I had thought of that, say, a year ago…sigh!!!

In other odd and interesting news, I managed to choke on raw cauliflower this past Wednesday night. It took me maybe 30 seconds to cough it back up as it had broken into small pieces in my throat. I was fine but my throat hurt severely. I started a fever Thursday, went the doctor Friday with a 102.3 degree fever and they immediately sent me for a chest x-ray. Apparently it went down my bronchial tubes and into my right lung. There’s no cauliflower left, but my right lung is inflamed and my throat is severely scratched. When I went to the doctor it was taking me 3 swallows to get down one small sip of Gatorade. I was pretty scared. Thankfully after about a thousand Ibruprofen and an antibiotic, I’m better today, and living on mashed potatos, but I sound horrible. I have almost no voice and Troy likes to make fun of me! So word to the wise, or maybe I’m the only one who never gave it a second thought – be very careful with raw cauliflower – one of my favorite treats.

Enjoy some photos!

Here is Troy and Daniel doing the "man's work".

Here is Daniel "making" his bed! He will not allow a pillow case on his pillow. If I put one on, he takes it off once I leave the room. I try to sneak one on every week once a week and it always comes immediately off. One of these days....

Loving the new and improved big boy bed!

There's a story behind this motorcycle - I'll have to make it another post. Troy actually turned this motorcycle from a "regular" motorcycle into a "hardtail". He's so crafty! And he says I'm to let everyone know that it's not quite finished.

Tonight I walk into Daniel's room and both boys have their shirts off. I was informed it was shirtless play time and I was not invited. By the way, the racetrack we picked up brand new at a yard sale for one buck! Cha Ching!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MRI Results – A Lot To Be Thankful For

Last night I received a call from Daniel's urologist at 7 pm to tell me that Daniel's MRI was clear! There are no spinal abnormalities or corded nerve issues which could have been causing some of Daniel's issues. Also the ultrasound came back showing that his left kidney is slowly shrinking. While that kidney is far from perfect, his right kidney remains perfect and the doctor is thrilled. We are now able to take Daniel off the antibiotic that he's been on for over a year. This means that a few minor skin conditions which the antibiotic was causing can finally clear up completely even though we have just about taken care of that on our own! We will have a follow up ultrasound in about 4 months (easy!) and then if things are progressing as they expect, they anticipate yearly follow ups to be sure the left kidney continues to function well. They believe his bladder issues will heal in time and hope to wean him slowly off his other medication (bladder relaxer) as he grows.

I can't even begin to thank all of you out there who have lifted Daniel (and us) up in prayer. We certainly have an almighty God and I can't wait to tell Daniel more about Him and show Daniel how we have seen Him work miracles in his own life.

One tidbit of information I haven't shared in the blog before, but that I think now would be the appropriate time is that on our second trip to Russia, we were supposed to fly out of Dulles to Atlanta to catch our flight to Moscow. When we arrived at Dulles, they had just, minutes before, delayed our flight, so that we would not make our connecting flight to Moscow. We stood at the counter in full panic mode and the lady behind the counter started working frantically to get us on another flight. After about 15 minutes, in which she walked way talking to a manager, she then came back and said they were going to give us a taxi to take us to Reagan National airport to catch a flight there. The only problem was that the flight left within the next hour and they weren't sure we were going to make it. They gave us the last two seats on the plane and rushed us out to the taxi. The taxi driver took one look at us and drove as fast as he could saying that he hoped we didn't hit traffic and that when we arrived at the airport we had to get in front of everyone in the lines to make the flight.

We did not hit traffic, which was God's work, and a miracle in it's own right, as Troy and I frantically prayed from the back seat that we would not. When we arrived at Reagan, there was a large line for Delta and we stood there momentarily trying to figure out what to do.

Now, this may sound completely corny, but as I was looking at the counters, my gaze fell on a lady standing behind her computer in a Delta uniform. Her line was closed, but it was almost like she glowed or maybe it was her blond hair, but either way, I felt drawn to her and I ran for her.

She might have thought I was crazy as I probably gave her the biggest run-on sentence of her life, saying that we were adopting a child from Russia, we couldn't miss this flight, or we would miss the connecting flight, that our court date would be cancelled, that it just couldn't happen and please, please, please help us get the plane on time.

But instead, I'll never forget her smile as she said "I'm from Russia, give me your papers," and she turned her computer on and whizzed us through saying how wonderful she thought it was what we were doing. She asked for pictures so while she was frantically checking us in, Troy was showing her photos from his digital keychain. She finished in record time. We whizzed through security also in record time and we got to the gate as they were boarding the plane. We barely made it, but we DID make it and I know God had everything to do with that.

I still think the lady who helped rush us through check in was put there by God and may very well have been an angel to help us on our path to Daniel. And of course I can't forget the first lady who helped us, her manager and the taxi driver also.

And now for a picture of my little "not so much" angel lately. More on that later!!
Now if only that mower really cut grass!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Birthday Boy Turns 3!!

Today is my sweet baby's birthday! We had a great party Saturday for him with all our family and some friends. I wanted an easy going party outside with no structured events and it turned out to be a blast. We set up a canopy with tables, a pool, a lego table and a sandbox and the theme was construction. I think all the little ones had a great time. Daniel got a lootpile - thank you everyone! His cousin Parker came, his friend from school Mari came, another cousin Ian, and more friends, Hannah, Wyatt, Stevie, Eli, Jennyfer, and David, along with grandparents, aunts, uncles, second cousins and parents!! I'll leave you with some pictures!

Troy was a good sport and let me pull him through the sprinkler!!
Happy Birthday son!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Best Friend's Wedding and Daniel's Funny Sayings

My best friend of over 17 years got married this past Saturday. I was the Matron of Honor and Daniel was the ring bearer. It was a very BUSY weekend and Daniel did alright considering how crazed his schedule was. Daniel and I left in a rush on Thursday afternoon after I worked half a day, picked him up from day care as he was waking from his nap and then drove 3 hours to Kerri's place and dropped Daniel with a strange babysitter (which I was more nervous about than he was, more on that escapade later) and then rushed to the Bachelorette party which was held at a local restaurant with a lot of fun ladies. We were home by 10:30 pm (no wild party there, but a fantastic time with lots of gifts and a lot of giggling)!!

The next morning the sitter came back and Kerri and I left for the bridesmaid's luncheon, which was beautiful, followed by manicures and pedicures with all the bridesmaids (which is totally not me, but I enjoyed it!) and then back to pick Daniel up for the rehearsal. The babysitter had no luck napping Daniel and at some point in the day, Daniel got inside the house while they were playing outside and manage to lock her out with the deadbolt. We had given her a key to everything except the deadbolt. Thankfully she had the sense not to panic and call me, starting a new panic, but instead managed to talk Daniel into opening the door for her! He's a little stinker!!
Since he had had no nap, he was exhausted and fell asleep on the way to the rehearsal. Needless to say, I carried him everywhere and tried my best to wake him to no avail. I was able to lay him down in a dressing room and another mother watched him so I could at least practice. Then the rehearsal dinner. Luau themed and we had a great time. Several people rushed for Daniel and he got very nervous (awake at this point) and several times he would look at people and point to me and say loudly "That's my Mama." At one point we were playing and he fell and one of the bridesmaids and her sister ran for Daniel (I was standing about 2 feet away and I knew he was fine (he was goofing off) and when they ran for him, he was scrambling backwards to me. One of the girls felt so bad for scaring him. While I feel bad, I also feel good that he does these things, in reaction to other people trying to help him.

Saturday Troy finally arrived and took Daniel off my hands so I could pick up the bride to be and get her hair and my hair done. I felt like a princess. Between the nails, toes, hair and makeup (none of which I was allowed to pay for and instead was treated to by Kerri's mother) I felt like royalty. After hair I got to take the bride to be to the church. Then makeup was done.

The wedding was beautiful. It was in the courtyard of an old school buildings. Kerri is a guidance school counselor for a middle school and her husband is an art teacher at a high school so it was the perfect place. Daniel walked down the aisle holding my hand and then sat on the fountain which was behind the bridesmaids. During a prayer I walked Daniel to Troy and Troy took Daniel into the building because he wanted to run from me to Troy and back again! We didn't expect him to last and thought he did great the time he was up there.

The reception was gorgeous and everyone had a great time. There was dancing in the courtyard which I loved, but Daniel seemed a little overwhelmed by the loud music and the lights from the DJ. Eventually he fell asleep, once on Troy's neck and then finally in his arms. The bride and groom left the courtyard under all of us holding sparklers up at midnight.

Needless to say we were all exhausted and I'm still recovering!! Daniel did so well being that his schedule was so off. I think he's recovering today too!!

I am so happy for my best friend. She has waited for her special man for a long time and I wish them the most happiness ever.

There are pictures below, but I thought you might enjoy a few things that Daniel said over the wedding weekend.

SetUp: Daniel pinched his finger in the pack and play at 11:00 pm after arriving back at the hotel Friday night while I was setting it up. He sobbed, we got ice and he got Tylenol. He sleeps (thank goodness). The next morning.
Daniel: "My finger hurts."
Me: "I know. You pinched it, but it's alright."
Daniel: "I hurt my finger."
Me: "I know baby, Is there anything I can do to help?"
Daniel: "Get my finger off me!"
Me: No words, dying laughing.

Set Up: I'm sound asleep in the bed next to the pack and play. It's 7:15 am. (too many late nights.
Daniel from the pack and play: "Mommy, are you waking up?"
Me: "I am now," (groaning)

SetUp: Troy brings Daniel to me where we are getting our makeup done. I'm the third chair down the line and makeup is being put on at that moment. My hair is all curled in ringlets and half up.
Daniel: "Papa, where's Mama?"
Troy: "Right over there"
Daniel starts walking towards me, but I don't look over because of the makeup lady. Daniel stops, turns towards Troy. "Papa, where's Mama?"
Me: "It's okay, Daniel. I'm right here." I turn towards him.
Daniel: "Oh Mama, I LOVE your BIG hair."
Chorus of bridesmaids laughing hysterically! My hair wasn't that big!!

Bachelorette Party

Bridesmaid's Luncheon

Getting Mani's and Pedi's

Check out the back of my hair!

Look at the beautiful bride, during the ceremony!

YAY! Finally married!

Daniel - checking out my "big" hair and all the makeup that none of us were used to!

Daniel just wouldn't stop goofing of in this photo!
I love this photo of us though because it's sooo Daniel!

Isn't he sweet?
This was right before he threw my bouquet in the fountain and got a time out!

11:40 pm - I can't believe he made it that long and then he fell asleep on Papa's shoulders of all places!

P.S. We made it through the MRI and ultrasounds today. Daniel did great with the sedation and wasn't sick afterwards. Hopefully we'll hear something within the next 3 or 4 days.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Have a Confession To Make...

Well, actually several confessions to make.

1. I dreaded the day Daniel would no longer take a nap. I loved my two hours each afternoon to sit outside by myself, work on the computer (otherwise known as reading blogs), or take a nap myself. I really thought that when he quit naps, I might go crazy. I was wrong. Daniel has been not been taking a nap lately and I love it!! We noticed about amonth ago that he was not sleeping during nap time anymore so we decided to keep him up. While he is still at that in between time where he doesn't nap and is exhausted at the dinner table, but if he naps he's up until 1o in his crib and then won't wake up for school, he's actually doing well without naps. We simply put him to bed a little earlier and he sleeps a little later - a real plus for mommy and papa if you ask me!! Plus, the best part - he falls asleep on my shoulder again like he used too because he's so tired. I feel a little evil tiring him out so much, but I absolutely love it when he falls asleep in my arms!!

2. I really thought he would never get potty trained, partially due to his age (still not quite 3 but will be in two weeks, and partially due to his medical issues. Yet here we are on night 8 (knock on wood) sleeping in big boy underwear and not an accident yet. I have noticed that he tends to have his accidents in the evenings (when he's tired from not napping) or when he's outside. But we're managing through that and have mostly accident free days now!! I should have believed in him from the beginning!!

3. I wanted my child to be a fish in the swimming pool, because I could live in one, but I was a little afraid of Troy when last year he looked at me with Daniel n his arms and said, "Don't worry it's instinctual - he'll hold his breath." And then I let Troy dunk him under at the ripe old age of barely 2. The result - he came up not sputtering once, and now this child of mine is a fish! He can jump in and go under and come up like nothing happened. He is swimming with his arm bands on to beat the band. I had to catch up to him in the pool this weekend!! (Enjoy the photos below of our pool time)

4. I tend to burst into song alot. Like tonight when Daniel was jumping around his bedroom naked after his bath and I plopped on the floor with his pjs and commenced with "Wild Thing"...insert music sounds here...and Daniel runs over to me grabs both my shoulders, and belts out plain as day "You make my heart sing". I truly thought I was going to fall over (from a sitting position) from laughter. Obviously I sing that ALOT around him!!
Lastly, this isn't a confession, but just an update - we have Daniel's MRI appointment next Tuesday. It's yucky sedation, but I'll be glad to get it over with. Please pray for it to go well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lake Day!

Wow - where does the time go?? I can't believe how the weeks are just flying by. Our weekends have been filled up lately and June is already turning out to be no exception. This past Sunday, we met up with Amber, Stephen and Parker. Daniel loves to see his Aunt Amber and Uncle Stephen and play with his cousin Parker. We decided to try out a local lake and letting the adult boys go fishing while the mom's and kiddos went swimming. Well we had a blast and below are the pictures to prove it!!

Check out the last picture, can you tell Granny's been shopping for her two youngest grandchildren!! What's so funny is that this was not planned!!

The only other news I can think of is that Daniel is 90% potty trained!! This means we are going days now without accidents and nights too!! He went the last 5 nights without an accident in his pull up so last night for the first time, he slept in big boy underwear and he made it through the night!!! He still has an occassional accident if he's tired or just too busy. But otherwise we are almost there!!! YAY!!